Race report: Auckland Interclub Duathlon

After missing Saturdays training due to feeling like I had been hit by a truck I was unsure about how Sunday’s race was going to go. 

The race didn’t start until 10am but we had to get started early to get WTMC clubbies down to Pukekohe with enough time to set up the tent and barbeque for a sausage sizzle. 

Once set up it was time to set up the transition area and and the obligatory group photo was taken, it was then time to get to the race start.  The interclub duathlon is quite a unique race as its the only opportunity I have seen where you can bike on completely closed roads (a race track) and the run is on shingle track inside the horse race track. 

A short (second) briefing, being warned to count your own laps on the bike and “not follow Andrew Sylvester or you may end up with an extra lap of the track” and the gun went off. 

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The plan from Ben was to run the first 5km at 4.25min/km pace, build into the 21km bike then build into the final 2.5km run.  

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My pace from the beginning was a little quick but I felt pretty comfortable so kept going, besides, I could see plenty of girls in front of me and all I could hear is Duane (from work) telling me off for being ‘chicked’

Onto the bike and its always hard to get the heart rate down to an acceptable level when getting on the bike but it was made even harder with the wind at the start of the bike and down the start finish straight on every one of the 7 laps.

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I was feeling pretty strong on most of the laps and all the training in the drops had helped to keep me comfortable in the most streamlined position I could get my 6 foot 1 inch frame on the bike.  It is quite a menta task to keep count of laps when you are thinking about your technique so much so I was lucky to see Andrew pass me on his penultimate lap and filter into transition ahead of me giving me a last lap warning and what a relief that was.

Having missed my transitioin practice the day before I had to go back in my mind to the best way of getting off the bike onto the run.  

  • Spin the legs in the last 1km on the bike
  • unstrap the shoe 200 meters before transition
  • feet out of shoes 1 hundred meters before 
  • hop off bike at dismount line
  • Running shoes slipped on 
  • helmet off
  • start on run with short strides

It felt like I was running like a brick but looking at my Garmin I saw that I was a very fast brick and a brick with a heart rate that could power the whole of Pukekohe!!!

Managing to slow myself down enough to get the heart rate to an acceptable level I powered into the final run.  It was cool to see Andrew coming into finish his run whilst I was on my way out but it was a lonely run round the course.  I did have a runner in my sites from half way round and I managed to reel him in about 200m from the finish which made my morning!

Once the race finished it was great to catch up with the rest of the team at the tent and the sausage sizzle was a welcome finish prize!  Thank you to Judy and Mark for looking after the sausages all day!

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A fantastic surprise at the end was a spot prize of a pair of Survival Optics Sunglasses as you can see modelled below!  

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Overall a great day and I have to thank everyone who helped out.  Thanks also to my coach Ben (who ended up doing an extra lap on the bike, so I beat him)  for all the support with programmes and quick updates to training programmes when needed.  The results are coming!! 

Oh yeah, about the result, my time was 1h 05min 17sec.  22nd in age group.  

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